All Posts By Samantha Seneviratne

Samantha Seneviratne Samantha Seneviratne is a New York-based writer, recipe developer and food stylist. She is the author of The New Sugar and Spice (Ten Speed Press), a baking cookbook combining family stories and food history with recipes that reimagine dessert as a more balanced mix of sugar and spice. Her second book, Gluten Free for Good (Clarkson Potter), comes out August 2016. She blogs about dessert at Love, Cake.

Pistachio-Orange Shortbread — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, February 12th, 2016

Pistachio-Orange ShortbreadWe’ve all heard of shortbread, but what exactly does it mean when we say a pastry is “short”? The terms “short crust,” “shortbread” and even “shortening” all refer to the texture of the crumb of the pastry. Short pastry is usually dense, crumbly, crisp and buttery, and these flavorful bars, studded with orange zest and nuts — and drizzled with chocolate — are no exception.

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Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, February 2nd, 2016

Oatmeal Cream PiesWhen I was little my neighborhood block was my universe. My best friend lived next door. We played kickball on the street in front of the house and explored the woods behind; our driveway was the best racecourse that any daredevil biker could hope for.

My dear friend Doris also lived on my block. She probably had a good 50 years on me, but that didn’t stop us from becoming close. She was kind and extremely gracious, considering that I would drop in on her without notice whenever it pleased me. My own grandmother lived 8,000 miles away, but Doris was nearby and I was grateful for her company. We’d play checkers and drink lemonade for hours. I loved our chats, and I loved her smile.

But that wasn’t all. Doris had the best snacks around — Little Debbie everything! She had crispy and crackly Star Crunch, dense and fudgy brownies, and my personal favorite, plenty of Oatmeal Creme Pies. Even today when I see those boxes in the supermarket, I’m immediately whisked back to the time when I’d sit on Doris’ fuzzy, teal couch in front of the glass coffee table considering my next checkers move with a mouthful of sugar.

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Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, January 28th, 2016

Whoopie PiesWhen I first started making cookies, I always baked them one tray at a time in the center of the oven. It certainly drew the process out, but I had found that two trays baked at the same time never produced consistent results. Baking one sheet at a time was the only way to guarantee perfect treats. This all changed, however, when I got an oven with a convection setting — and it just happens to be ideal for baking these peanut butter whoopie pies. Read more

Apple-Raspberry Crumb Bars — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, January 19th, 2016

Apple-Raspberry Crumb BarsCraving both cookies and pie? A classic crumb bar is just what you need! It’s got a tender, sweet cookie base, real fruit filling and a chewy crumb topping. More portable than pie and more satisfying than a cookie, I’d say a crumb bar with a tall glass of milk would even make a pretty good breakfast (if there were any leftovers from the day before, that is!). Read more

Pistachio Loaf — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, January 12th, 2016

Pistachio LoafI’m a pistachio fiend. I love pistachio ice cream, pistachio cakes and pistachio candies. I even use bright-green pistachio oil to make delicious salad dressings. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever met a pistachio I didn’t like. Read more

Chocolate Chunk Snack Cake with Chocolate Malt Frosting — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, January 5th, 2016

Chocolate Chunk Snack CakeAt first glance, this may just look like your average vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. But it’s so much more than that. I’ve enhanced the classic to make a snack cake worth talking about.

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Upside-Down Orange-Almond Cake — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, December 29th, 2015

Upside-Down Orange-Almond CakeThis is my very favorite gluten-free cake base. I use it all the time. I’ve made it into lovely layer cakes, Boston cream pie, perfect petit fours and every upside-down fruit cake that you can imagine. The key to its perfect tender, buttery crumb is almond flour — my secret weapon for gluten-free baking.

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Lime Meringue Bars — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, December 22nd, 2015

Lime-Meringue BarsLight and airy meringue is the stuff of dreams. Made of just egg whites and sugar, it magically transforms into something that’s so much more than the sum of its parts.

French meringue is the simplest to make. The egg whites are simply whipped while sugar is gradually added. This meringue needs to be baked. Swiss meringue starts with sugar and egg whites gently heated in a double boiler until the sugar is completely dissolved. It’s then whipped into a dense, silky cloud. Swiss meringue is the base of for my favorite kind of buttercream frosting.

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Coconut-Almond Baked Doughnuts — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, December 15th, 2015

Baked Coconut-Almond DoughnutsBaked doughnuts have basically taken over the Internet. I understand. The opportunity to indulge in a homemade doughnut without having to heat up a big pot of oil is appealing. That said, I think that baked doughnuts are in a completely separate category from regular doughnuts. They’re wonderful but more in line with cakes and cupcakes than true doughnuts.

That’s not a bad thing. Baked doughnuts are incredibly easy to whip up. The batter comes together in minutes, bakes quickly and makes just enough doughnuts to enjoy for brunch without leftovers.

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White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, December 8th, 2015

I know that white chocolate isn’t for everyone. It’s taken me a long time to warm up to the stuff myself. But I’ve recently learned one important fact about white chocolate: To find the best stuff, you must read the label.

True white chocolate is made from cocoa butter. To make cocoa butter, roasted cacao beans are ground into a fine paste. That paste is then run through a special press, which separates the cocoa mass from the cocoa butter. To make white chocolate, cocoa butter is then mixed with sugar and milk. Different chocolate manufacturers make different blends. In the United States, to even be called white chocolate, it must contain at least 20 percent cocoa butter. But for better flavor, look for something with an even higher percentage of cocoa butter. More cocoa butter makes for a more delicious product. Avoid white chocolate with fillers like oil and artificial flavor.

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